Not your average spaghetti bake recipe, this Spaghetti Arrabiata Bake takes classic comfort food to the next level with a creamy sauce that packs a punch of savory spice. For a complete meal that’s sure to impress, serve it alongside a crisp side salad and some crusty bread so you can mop up every last drop of sauce!

overhead image of a bowl of arrabiata sauce spaghetti topped with fresh Parmesan and basil with a fork on the side

Why You’ll Love this Arrabiata Sauce Spaghetti Bake Recipe

There’s nothing better than an easy pasta dish after a long day, and this spaghetti bake is one of our favorites! Not only is it quick, but it also comes together with simple ingredients and a homemade arrabiata sauce. No jarred spaghetti here. As a result, it’s uber flavorful and easy to customize to fit all your needs! We recommend making a double batch to eat throughout the week. 

What Is Arrabiata Sauce? 

Arrabiata sauce, also known as sugo all’arrabbiata in Italian, is a type of spicy sauce made specifically for pasta. The creation of the sauce can be traced back to Rome. Traditionally, it contains a combination of garlic, tomatoes, and dried red chili peppers that are cooked in olive oil and blended into a sauce. Today, there are many variations. However, they all pack a bit of spice and have a smooth, creamy consistency! 

What’s the Difference Between Arrabiata Sauce and Marinara? 

This is one of the most common questions we get, and for good reason! Made with a base of garlic and tomatoes, arrabiata sauce and marinara sauce are nearly identical in appearance. However, they can easily be distinguished by their taste! For example, arrabiata sauce is meant to be a bit more savory and definitely spicy. Meanwhile, marinara sauce is mild and sweet

a baking dish with cherry tomatoes, a whole head of garlic, red onion, shallot, basil, and seasonings

Ingredients You’ll Need

To create this spaghetti bake, we made our own arrabiata sauce from scratch. So, we broke down the ingredient list into two components to make sure you have everything you need for both the sauce and the pasta! 

For the Arrabiata Sauce

  • Cherry Tomatoes – This forms the base of the sauce, creating a savory, robust flavor. 
  • Shallot and Garlic – Part of the same family, these two work together to permeate the entire dish with a bold tangy, slightly sweet taste.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Used to coat the veggies, oil helps create caramelization and adds a good boost of healthy fats.
  • Seasonings – Crushed red pepper, oregano, thyme, basil, salt, and pepper make the arrabiata sauce even more delicious. 
  • Heavy Cream – Stirred in right at the end, full-fat heavy cream creates an ultra-smooth texture and the most luxurious mouthfeel. 

For the Spaghetti Bake

  • Spaghetti Noodles – Feel free to use any kind of spaghetti noodles you like best. You could even swap them out for a different shape like penne or fusilli! 
  • Parmesan Cheese – Salty and savory, Parmesan cheese makes everything better. 

How to Make the Best Spaghetti Bake

To make this spaghetti bake, we’ll start with the arrabiata. Then, all you have to do is combine the ingredients and enjoy. Just follow the instructions below! 

  1. Preheat the oven. 
  2. Peel the outer layers off the head of garlic, being careful to leave the garlic cloves intact.
  3. Add the tomatoes, shallot, oregano, thyme, basil, and crushed red pepper to a baking dish. Place the garlic in the center. 
  4. Drizzle olive oil on top, and add a sprinkle of salt and pepper
  5. Bake until the tomatoes burst and the garlic is fragrant and tender. 
  6. In the meantime, cook the spaghetti noodles according to the package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water
  7. Let the baked tomato mixture cool slightly. Then, transfer the ingredients to a high-speed blender along with the heavy cream, and pulse until smooth. 
  8. Place the blended arrabiata sauce in a large pot with the cooked noodles, Parmesan cheese, and pasta water, if needed. 
  9. Stir to combine, and serve warm! 
overhead image of tomatoes, garlics, shallot, onions, basil, and seasoning drizzled with olive oil in a white baking dish

Serving Suggestions

To create a complete, healthy meal, we love to pair this pasta bake with a side! And, of course, you can’t forget the bread. For a crowd-pleasing dinner, try serving it with: 

Make Ahead and Storage Options

This recipe is great to make ahead of time for comforting meals all week! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days

Or, place them in the freezer for up to 2 months. However, if you plan on freezing your spaghetti bake, we recommend undercooking the noodles just slightly and tossing them in olive oil. This will prevent them from clumping together and allow for easier reheating. 

To Store Arrabiata Sauce

If you really want to plan ahead, you can prepare the arrabiata sauce in advance so it’s ready to go when you need dinner in a pinch! Once cooled, it can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months

To Reheat

When you’re ready to eat, the easiest way to warm your spaghetti is to add it to a bowl with a bit of water and heat it in the microwave for a minute or two. Or, you can place leftovers in a baking dish, cover them with foil, and warm them in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes or until your desired temperature is reached. 

a black plate with a pile of arrabiata sauce spaghetti bake topped with Parmesan cheese, basil leaves, and red pepper flakes

Common Questions

What meat goes well with arrabiata sauce spaghetti

If you want to bulk up this spaghetti bake, feel free to mix in cooked beef, turkey, or chicken. You could even add sliced chicken sausage for an extra hint of spice! 

What desserts go well with this recipe? 

Honestly, there’s no dessert that doesn’t pair well with this recipe! However, some of our favorites include strawberry cheesecake chimichangas, atayef with whipped cream and pistachios, and Tiramisú Bread Pudding.  

Can I use a store-bought arrabiata sauce? 

Sure! Personally, we think the homemade version is so much more flavorful. But, if you want a super quick meal, a high-quality store-bought version can work, too. Just warm it up, and combine it with your noodles. 

More Spaghetti Recipes You’ll Love

Quick, easy, and budget-friendly, spaghetti is one of our favorite ingredients for dinners during the week. If you feel the same, you won’t want to miss out on these mouthwatering meals! 

a black plate with a serving of arrabiata sauce spaghetti bake topped with Parmesan cheese, basil leaves, and red pepper flakes

Arrabiata Sauce Spaghetti Bake

5 from 1 vote
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Not your average spaghetti bake recipe, this version is made with creamy arrabiata sauce for a savory, spicy comfort food dinner that’s full of flavor and so easy to make. Serve it with a side salad and crust bread for a complete meal the whole family will love!


  • 1 whole garlic bulb
  • 32 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium shallot diced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh basil
  • 3 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound Barilla spaghetti noodles
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Peel the outer layers of the whole head of garlic, making sure to leave the garlic cloves intact.
    1 whole garlic bulb
  • In a 13×9 baking dish, add the cherry tomatoes, shallot, oregano, thyme, basil, and crushed red pepper. Place the head of garlic in the center of the baking dish.
    32 ounces cherry tomatoes, 1 medium shallot, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon thyme, ½ cup loosely packed fresh basil, 3 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
  • Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
    3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, Salt to taste, Black pepper to taste
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until tomatoes burst and garlic is nice and tender.
  • In the meantime, cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al-dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water
    1 pound Barilla spaghetti noodles
  • Remove the tomato mixture from the oven and let cool slightly. Transfer to a high-speed blender with the heavy cream. Blend until smooth.
    ¼ cup heavy cream
  • Transfer to a pot with the cooked pasta, Parmesan cheese, and pasta water, if needed. Stir to combine.
    ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Serve warm.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 670kcal | Carbohydrates: 98g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 280mg | Potassium: 856mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 2071IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 193mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe?Please leave a comment!

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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    1. That should work just fine! It just won’t be quite as rich. We hope you enjoy, Mary!

      Alia & Radwa